On Saturday July 29 th a group of faithful from St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church in Elkins Park, PA., made a pilgrimage to The Holy Protection Greek Orthodox Monastery located in the beautiful Pocono mountain region of Eastern PA. Founded by the well-known Elder Ephraim from Mt. Athos in 1993 on a site that was formerly the Whitehaven Sanitorium for Tuberculosis, this beautiful Monastery (part of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Pittsburgh) was completed in 2006. The beautiful handiwork of the sisters: writing icons, making candles, baking, and sewing supports this monastery, as do the donations of Orthodox Christians pilgrims and faithful.
The pilgrims were given a tour of the Monastery grounds, church and chapels, were acquainted with the history of Holy Protection Monastery by Sister Marina, who warmly welcomed them upon their arrival at Monastery, and served as guide. At her request, her photograph was not taken. The Monastery has three chapels – the largest dedicated to the Holy Foremost Apostles Peter and Paul (and adorned with exquisite frescos and icons); a secondary chapel dedicated to St. Nektarios of Aegina, and the original chapel (founded on one of the remaining buildings of the Whitehaven Sanatorium) dedicated to the Holy Martyr Paraskeva of Rome. The children enjoyed the opertunity to share their knowledge with Sister Marina, the chance to explore the beautiful landscape of the property, and shopping at the gift shop.
After being treated to a delicious lunch, the faithful ended their spiritual retreat by attending the services of the Ninth Hour, Great Vespers and Small Compline.